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Many studies have been done towards the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy as well as the actual labor. Chiropractic care is a wonderful alternative therapy and has many healing and pain relieving benefits.
When a woman is carrying a growing baby, her belly naturally protrudes, the curve in her spine increases, her pelvis and hips are thrown out of alignment, and her posture adapts to the extra weight gain. Therefore, as there is often back pain associated with these changes, many women look to chiropractors during their pregnancy to help them feel relief.
Chiropractic Adjustments During Pregnancy
The majority of chiropractors are taught to make adjustments on pregnant women, so finding one trained in prenatal chiropractic care shouldn’t be too difficult. Plus, while not all chiropractors are certified to perform adjustments on a pregnant woman, some physicians in both the United States and Canada have completed three years of post-doctorate education in order to specialize in maternity and pediatric care.
- Chiropractic care during pregnancy can begin early and continue safely up until the time of birth. Special tables are used, as well as special techniques that avoid putting pressure on the mother’s abdomen.
- Chiropractors can also show their clients examples of exercises and stretches that can be done safely during their pregnancy that won’t throw off any of the chiropractic adjustments that have already been made to the spine.
- Some chiropractors are even Webster Certified — trained to specifically work with women who have babies in a breech position.
Why Consider Chiropractic Care During Your Pregnancy?
Common aches and pains during pregnancy are often par-for-the-course. Some of the problems are carpal tunnel syndrome, mid-back and rib pain, headaches, low back pain and sciatica. Approximately 50% of all mothers suffer from at least one of these issues while pregnant, and chiropractic care can help to alleviate the pain and provide natural relief.
Low Back Pain
Low back pain is often associated with a condition called sacroiliac joint dysfunction, also called SI subluxation, which is a misalignment of a joint that causes irritation to the nerves and tissues in the area surrounding them.
Sacroiliac joints are located where the sacrum (triangular bone that sits above the tailbone) and hipbones known as inominate bones join together.
Hormones released during pregnancy cause the muscles, ligaments, and joints in this area to relax, which allow the pelvis to open during delivery so that the baby can pass through the birth canal.
It is this combination of relaxation, weight gain (which is common during pregnancy), changes in posture, and stretched stomach muscles that disturb the alignment of the spine and pelvis, causing subluxations and increasing the stress on the nerves, joints, and discs in the lower back and pelvis.
Headaches are brought on by changes in posture and extra stress on the mother’s neck and mid-back. Neck pain can also cause headaches during pregnancy because of muscle tension; often it is accompanied by muscle spasms in the shoulders and neck.
Carpal Tunnel and Tingling In The Hands
Additionally, hormones and swelling cause 20% of pregnant women to develop carpal tunnel, which causes painful burning, tingling, and numbness in the wrists and hands. This is usually caused by oedema, which is a fluid build-up in the tissues and causes added pressure on the median nerve. Although many women develop this pins and needle pain, it usually disappears after the birth and once the swelling has gone.
Mid-Back and Rib Pain
Finally, pains in the middle of the back often radiate around to the ribcage and cause the nerves between the ribs to become irritated.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
Not only has chiropractic care during pregnancy been shown to alleviate common aches and pains caused from weight gain and spine stress, but it has also shown to significantly reduce the length of time a woman spends in labor.
Potentially, having chiropractic care during pregnancy can help a woman to control her nausea, relieve back, neck, and joint pain, keep her from having to have a cesarean section, and help maintain a healthier pregnancy overall.
As an added bonus, chiropractors that are Webster Certified have the ability to turn a breech baby with a special technique that establishes balance in a pregnant woman’s pelvis and reduces unnecessary stress to her uterus and the ligaments that support it, thus making the pelvis balanced and easier for the baby to turn naturally.
The Webster Technique was developed by the late Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and has an 82% success rate even as early as the eighth month.
My last pregnancy was a breech birth and I was not told that chiropractic care could have helped me. My child was born breech and thankfully everything went well. Today, I visit the chiropractor regularly. I am not pregnant nor in pain. The reason I do is to keep my body perfectly aligned and in good health.
I prefer a ‘maintenance’ visit than a ‘quick-fix’. Do you use chiropractic care?
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